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Shanghai Tournament System

Oct 20
We recently implemented a REST service to facilitate us adding a match making system in future to Shanghai.

At present, we are recording all solutions to puzzles which will allow us to build a ranking system where the best players can be showcased. Boards which have been solved are evident in the dialog which can be located by selecting: Community and then choosing Global Statistics.

All users may see solvable boards, there also exists for registered users a history tab which will show all previous attempts at n boards specific to their account history. We will be building upon the tournament service and welcome your feedback.

We have handpicked a selection of ten playable boards for unregistered users as we believe this gives you a chance of solving a puzzle. Note that one of the boards is indeed solvable.

La Guardia Video Frame IO

Oct 5
In La Guardia, capturing frames from remote desktops brings with it some challenging hurdles should available bandwidth be limited which is always the case. Keeping in mind that ICT networks which struggle with available bandwidth given potential expansions through the introduction of more network interface cards (nodes) are frankly a hinderance to operate with. They introduce time loss resulting in lost productivity and thus lower employee morale when typical operations come to a stall.

Given that it need be possible for high calibre data communication networks to shift through 60 video frames a second should an admin choose this facility. The bandwidth allocation required can be quite large and this is before one can consider threading and syncronisation to manage many multiples of clients uploading these large chunks of video data simultaneously to end-point servers.

This is why compression, quality control parameters and fps options are desirable since it is possible to degrade quality whilst still reaching our objective albeit providing balance where required. Fps is the number of video frames to be transmitted each second. Reducing the number of frames means less binary has to be exchanged between a client and its server. Quality control parameters introduce noise into the binary meaning images can still be interpreted by a human operator but with less detail since pixel datums have been omitted or colour ranges have been reduced. Quality control parameters are interlinked with compression and it entirely relies upon these parameters whether acceptable restoration of imagery is possible and to what extend, that is fully or partially.

Further more with the introduction of image processing algorithms, we can thereafter attempt to regain any lost quality through the use of median and mean filters to sharpen video frames reaching the pipeline of the La Guardia server.

Here are four examples, we consider both JPEG and PNG file formats. Jpeg is a lossy compression for digital imagery where as PNG supports lossless, that is with a PNG, it is possible to compress any outgoing images for them to be later restored to optimal pixel perfect quality to the origin in which each frame was captured. Png is special, because given its specification, it trades off time instead of quality in favour of compression, that is one can compress a png image which will take longer to decode (decompress) albeit yielding a smaller binary, it will retain good quality through the use of an averaging filter where it samples pixel neighborhoods when modeled over a 2-dimensional matrix to compute missing pixel data.

La Guardia supports multiple options and it will be left to the discretion of network administrators to determine which are applicable to their needs.

La Guardia will inherit multiple options to manage video frame IO, these will include settings for: FPS, Downsampling, Quality Scaling, File Format, Filter Type and Filter Sizes. We are in the process of verification testing multiple subsets of parameters to document optimal settings for our user guide. In the future it is entirely possible we may go further and introduce additional compression initiatives which will wrap around existing standards.

Codename Spitfire

Oct 3
La Guardia is a network security, administration and team collaboration software suite due to become one of our flagship products. Internally we have code named it Spitfire and have kept it under wraps until now. It is a multi-purpose network administration suite which we are engineering in C++. It will be available for Windows and Linux workstations where the company specific clients may interface with server daemons and proxies seamlessly without system specific issues.

It will facilitate network administrators to seamlessly administrate large collections of computers on expanding SME networks. We are in the process of developing the infrastructure that allows us to omit technical debt. By this, we mean going the extra mile to make sure all the minute details in the recurring builds are precise so that in future, we are liberated from any back tracking. Whitepapers are in the pipeline to be published which will compliment official documentation as release candidates reach maturity.

These papers will document the protocol we have devised for the upcoming product suite. It is full of bytes, integers, hex codes... all the good stuff and ought to be a good read given that we've had fun engineering it.

Some albeit not all of the features present in the suite are:

a) desktop video viewer with configuration fps configs such as 5, 20, 25, 30, 45, 60
b) disk, volume and file management - download, upload, execute, rename, make, install, uninstall
c) due delegation messaging - secure communication channels for team collaboration
d) network health meta data polling and system specific auditing report generation
e) proxy support to relay data communications between distinct departments in larger organisations

More details with screenshots to be discussed in due course. Feedback of course welcome => devteam [at]

Shanghai Solitaire v1.22

Sep 11
Shanghai Solitaire v1.22 is now available for download. Included is an additional tile set [1] denoted "classic blue" with a re-sampled 12 minute sound track. Work is underway on a Linux build which will be available through the Ubuntu Software Center in due course.


Steam Greenlight

Jul 27
Shanghai Solitaire is now up on greenlight so if you'd like to see it on Steam in the near future, please consider dropping us a thumbs up.